By Bjorn Fehrm
August 15, 2018, © Leeham News.: The theft of the Horizon Air Bombardier Q400 Friday brings the question how easy airliners are to steal and what can be made about it.
Having never flown an airliner before, I recently learned how to start one from cold and get it into the air. Here’s my take on how easy (or not) it is to get an airliner in the air by a novice and what can be done to make it harder.
Aug. 13, 2018, © Leeham News: The bizarre theft of a Horizon Airlines Bombardier Q400 at Sea-Tac Airport Friday night by a 29-year old employee will take some time for investigators to unravel.
The employee, a ramp agent, appeared to have no other motive in mind other than a last joy ride before ending his life.
July 19, 2018, © Leeham News, Farnborough: The engine suppliers for the Airbus A320 family are roughly keeping to their recovery plan designed to catch up late deliveries and fix technical problems, a top official said this week.
Guillaume Faury, is the new president and CEO of the Airbus Commercial unit in Airbus Group.
“We look at short-term, medium- and long-term. Short-term, we had an H1 (first half) that was OK for all programs, but the single-aisle was a difficulty with all the engines. We will have a very strong H2 and this is obviously very high on my agenda.
April 9, 2018, © Leeham News: This fall, the Seattle area will get a second passenger airport: three airlines will begin service at Paine Field, in Everett, which is also home to Boeing’s massive wide-body production plant.
Alaska, Southwest and United airlines will offer 24 fights out of two gates that are under construction.
It’s the first passenger service from Paine Field.
It’s not hardly enough.
March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Nothing is as frustrating to a journalist as interview a great subject who doesn’t offer up anything especially useful.
I had a brief sideline interview with one such person at the US Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit 2018 last Thursday in Washington (DC). Great guy. Not much information.
Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, wasn’t going to be drawn into a discussion of two hot topics facing his carrier. Tilden had just come off an airline CEO panel, where he in his typical Boy Scout charm and enthusiasm opined about the state of the industry, praised the progress of the integration of Virgin America into Alaska and commented on a host of issues. But two topics didn’t come up.
I asked him about the competition vs Delta Air Lines in Seattle, where the two airlines are locked into a major market share battle. I also asked him about the fleet planning now that Alaska operates the Airbus A319, A320 and A321neo inherited from the acquisition of Virgin America. Alaska hitherto has been an all-Boeing 737 operator and recent, Ray Conner, former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and a good friend of Tilden, joined the Alaska board of directors.
Boeing’s need for engineering talent from Embraer has been touched on by many media, including LNC. But a detailed analysis hasn’t been forthcoming, that we’ve seen.
Not discussed yet is the fact that new airplane programs at Boeing and Embraer wind down in 2021-22, leaving both companies in danger of facing the next decade without new products at a time when competition will be emerging.
The lack of new airplane programs endangers the engineering talent pool. For Boeing, this is already going to be critical as more than 5,500 engineers and technicians reach age 65 in the next 10 years.
Boeing’s New Midmarket Airplane, if launched, will address part of the company’s new product requirement after 2020. On the other hand, Embraer has no new product, although officials have discussed potentially launching a turboprop program.
Dec. 22, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing blames a subsidized, price-dumped Bombardier C Series for the poor sales of the smallest member of the 737 family, the -700 and the 7 MAX, but history doesn’t support the claim.
The US Department of Commerce clearly ignored sales evidence that the 737-700 has been “done” for many years and the 737-7 MAX was an unattractive design
that hasn’t been fixed with a redesign; airlines simply don’t want the airplane. Commerce levied tariffs amounting to 292% on C Series imported into the United States in the future.
The US International Trade Commission is currently awaiting post-hearing briefs from Dec. 18 testimony from Boeing, Bombardier, Delta Air Lines and other parties to determine whether Boeing suffered “harm” by the C Series deal with Delta and a near-miss with United Airlines.
If the ITC concludes Boeing suffered harm, the DOC tariffs stand. If not, the DOC action is moot. The loser at ITC is expected to appeal.
Dec. 11, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Eyes will watch Atlanta (GA) this week, when the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors decides to award a big order for the re-engined Airbus and Boeing single aisle airplanes.
The Board meeting is believed to be Thursday. At stake: 100 orders and 100 options for either the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737 MAX families.
I wrote about this last week. Here’s an update.
Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Delta Air Lines management decision for an order for 100 Airbus A321neos or Boeing 737 MAXes, plus an equal number of options, is expected this week. A decision by the Board of Directors is expected next week.
Competition between the two companies was heated. Commercial terms were aggressive. Airbus and Boeing each want this deal badly. An Airbus win speaks for itself. For Boeing, a MAX order would give a boost to the MAX 10. A blocking move on Airbus is desired. For Boeing, a win would be especially meaningful.
Relations between Boeing and Delta are notoriously strained. These were exacerbated by Boeing’s complaint with the US government over the Bombardier C Series order, in which Boeing alleged price dumping and illegal subsidies. To no surprise, the Trump-led Department of Commerce found in favor of Boeing on both.
Oct. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Alaska Airlines Group (AAG) acquired Virgin America (VA) and with it, Virgin’s exclusive fleet of Airbus A320ceos with orders for A320neos and A321neos.
With Alaska Airlines (AS) being an all Boeing 737 operator, the question immediately arose: what will AAG do with the Virgin fleet.
AAG CEO Brad Tilden strongly hinted the Airbuses will eventually go away. But on earnings calls, officials say they’re studying the matter and there’s plenty of time before they must decide since the first leases don’t begin rolling off until 2019.
Even if AAG decides to consolidate around the 737—an issue still very much in doubt—it won’t be any time soon.
The A320 leases continue to 2024. The leases for the new A321neos go longer: these are 12-year leases and they are non-cancellable. The A321neos will be around at least until 2030.